Located in Historic Downtown Owatonna, Foremost Brewing Cooperative has set out to accomplish two things: brew really good beer, and continue the revitalization of our downtown community. Below you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
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Do I need a reservation?
We do not take reservations for regular dining. If you want to book our tasting room, please see the Events page.
What are you doing about Covid-19?
Foremost is strictly adhering to Governor Walz's orders regarding restaurants and bars. We can seat up to 100 people at a time throughout the restaurant and have removed all unnecessary seating so there is plenty of room for social distancing.
Masks are required when you are not seated at your table.
We have worked very hard for nearly four years to open Foremost; we do not want to take any risks that might jeopardize our ability to serve Owatonna. We are taking every precaution to ensure your health and safety and that of our employees.
Do I have to be a member to eat or drink at Foremost?
You do not have to be a member to enjoy dinner or beer at Foremost. Nor do you have to be a member to buy a growler. Everyone is welcome! However, membership does have its benefits--like free beer, member specials, and other perks.
How do I become a member?
Check out our membership page to learn more about memberships.
What is a brewing cooperative?
Foremost Brewing is a cooperative association organized under Chapter 308B of Minnesota Statutes. It is formed for the benefit of its members and based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. Its members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, ecological responsibility, and caring for others. You can read the 7 Principles of Cooperatives here.
Basically, we are a group of cool people who love beer, good food and Owatonna. We want a cool place to hang out with other cool people and we are all willing to chip in a few bucks to make it happen.
Who owns Foremost Brewing Cooperative?
The short answer: The members do!
The long answer: Traditional businesses concentrate the power of ownership in a single individual or a small group of partners. This idea is turned completely on its head with the cooperative model, where every member is part owner. Cooperative member owners share equally in control of the organization. They meet regularly to analyze operations reports and elect members from among themselves to a board that hires administrators to tend to day-to-day operations. Read the 7 Cooperative Principles here.
It would be hasty to equate cooperative members directly to shareholders in a traditional company. A single person can seize control of a stock-issuing company by buying a majority of shares, thus gaining superior voting power. With a cooperative, no member can buy or control the share of another. Each member has equal voting power and decisions must be made in conjunction with the wishes of the majority. Power truly rests in the hands of lowest common denominator -- the customer.
Source: Differences Between Cooperatives & Traditional Businesses by Derek Dowell, downloaded from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/differences-between-cooperatives-traditional-businesses-23270.html 4/26/17
Who is on the board of directors and what do they do?
Board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization toward a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies.
In March 2020 Foremost members elected their first official board of directors.
Board member bios can be found on the Board of Directors page.
Can I read your business plan?
Absolutely! We are very proud of our business plan. In it you will find more important information such as financial projections, organizational structure, target market analysis, our competitive advantage and other exciting things.